REVIEW - GROOVIN THE MOO, MAITLAND 2018

Photo: Liam Pethick

Photo: Liam Pethick

"Alright now, I want everyone to go crazy for this next one. Because this next one is so important to me. This next one, it bought my Mum a new house. 50 Million views on youtube. And I’m just so grateful because it wouldn’t be anything without you lot. So I’m gunna walk out and were all gunna go crazy, aiight?”

It’s not where I expected to be, probably not where I had intended to be either, but Lady Leshurr was ripping Groovin the Moo Maitland a new one.

Despite the fact the rain had dampened the morning, by the time we entered the Maitland showgrounds, the sun was shining, bringing a crisp Autumn day to life. Baker Boy, the first ever Australian to rap in his indigenous language, filled the air with his vibes as we endured the long process of scanning our tickets and getting our bags checked. As we ran through the gates with other punters, we headed for Ocean Alley at the Triple J stage. 2017 had been massive for these boys, building on their debut album Lost Tropics with Chiaroscuro & touring Europe and the UK. Instantly, you could feel the benefits as their stage presence was electrifying. Their hit single Confidence brought the crowd to the tips of their toes as shoulder rides were constructed and the Triple J stage turned it up.

Skeggs were ready to hit the Cattleyard stage by now, which was located right next to the Triple J stage, so when Ocean Alley left to a rapturous applause we simply shuffled to the left to throw down. Ben Reed was killing the high notes on New York California getting us all to crouch down low and kick off in a mosh when he reached the chorus. Debuting their new single Up in the Clouds the day had started right. Skeggs were here, Groovin was underway. Live music, Australian music, at its ripest. 

The first clash of the day had been detected. Portugal. the Man & Cosmo’s Midnight the devious performers. Our group split up, half to Cosmos and half to Portugal for equally defining renditions of real music. Portugal. the Man brought their international acclaim with them. Modern Jesus & Live in the Moment took a hold of Maitland by the scruff of the neck and ripped the crowd into life. Portugal extended their songs with deafening guitar solos to keep the wolf whistles loud. Crowd favourite and a recent success story for the band, Feel It Still off their new album Woodstock closed out an epic set and in the other corner, Cosmos Midnight spiced up the Moolin Rouge tent. Playing new music yet to be released, the boys also had Winston Surfshirt up on stage for one of their new tracks Get To Know. They blew the roof off the tent with their new track Low-key and the vibe was very much the opposite.

In-between waiting for Winston Surfshirt to take to the Triple J stage we walked the festival checking out the cool vibrant locally supported stores. We then made it up to the Udder Maheym Bar and watched Winston tear it up with a view to savour. Their performance on the trumpets drew wild applause and the crowd got down. After a few more drinks at the bar we then wondered down to the Cattleyard stage to see who was playing.

It’s not where I expected to be, probably not where I had intended to be either, but Lady Leshurr was ripping Groovin the Moo Maitland a new one. “Alright now, I want everyone to go crazy for this next one. Because this next one is so important to me. This next one, it bought my Mum a new house. 50 Million views on youtube. And I’m just so grateful because it wouldn’t be anything without you lot. So I’m gunna walk out and were all gunna go crazy, aiight?”

The crowd was a live wire. British rap had landed in New South Wales and it was reigning supreme. Lady Leshurr had us all bouncing to her beat. There were dances off's, mosh circles where a girl from our group was throwing it down hardcore. Sometimes the music doesn't even matter when the crowd is so wild, so when you combine it with music that does matter, it makes for one hell of a set.

Aminé was the hot tip from the local Uber driver that dropped us off so we made our way into a jam packed Moolin Rouge tent. “When I say you’re beautiful, you say “I Know!” Amine yelled to the crowd. “You’re Beautiful!” “I know!” came was the rendition through the set. A highlight was his song Spice Girl, which he tied in the girl bands original, Wanna Be. The crowd was jumping. 

Duke Dumont and Flight Facilities closed out our night as deep house put the finishing touches on what really was a memorable night in Maitland. Groovin the Moo produced for another year as punters left with smiles and tired feet from Groovin hard, in the Moo.

Written by: Robbie Fenton

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